Sunday, February 15, 2015

We drank the Koolaid

We asked.  We researched.  We debated.  And then we did it: we went all in and drank the Isagenix Koolaid.  IsoLean shakes, to be more precise.  And then the Isaflush.  And the Cleanse for Life... and Ionix Supreme.  We went all "cleanse my cells" on each other, knowing full well we'd return that sucker on day 29, thank you very much.

But then we kind of liked it.  And a couple days later we maybe loved it.  Disclaimer: I'm still nursing Parker so I am limited in what I can take.  Billy has done the full 30 day cleansing and fat burning system.  I have not done it in its entirety.

So,  here's our "take" on the cleansy juice.

1. I went from drinking 4-6 cups of coffee every morning (calm down La Leche League) to drinking around 4 cups a week.  Not because I chose to quit drinking it, but because I didn't need it anymore.  I lost the desire and taste for it.

2. I went from drinking 1-2 diet cokes in the afternoon (sometimes 3 children will cause you to turn to poisonous substances.  Mine just happened to be in the form of caffeine) to drinking 1-2 a week.  Again, not because I decided to give it up; I absolutely looked forward to my afternoon fix of carbonation.  But I stopped craving it and lost the "need" for it.

Those two reasons alone are huge benefits, but I will continue...

3. We are significantly less bloated.  Which, 3 babies and 2 c-sections later, is a mighty fine feeling for this mama.

4.  Neither one of us have experienced the post-lunch crash since starting Isagenix.  You know, when all you can fathom, whether you're at a desk or hiding from your kids in the bathroom (....), is laying your head down for a quick snooze... we genuinely don't feel that way in the afternoons.  In fact, afternoons have become some of my most productive and purposed time of the day, as well as Billy's.

5.  Billy has lost 12 pounds after 3 weeks of using Isagenix.

6.  When all three boys were sick for 8 days, we remained untouched.  Could be immunity, or it could be that we were getting enough of what we needed and our body had the tools to fight it off.

7.  Billy has completely lost all swelling of his joints.  Regardless of weight, his wedding ring has always been a challenge to get over his knuckle.  In fact, we thought the only way it would come off was if it was cut off.  However, as he's been using Isagenix the swelling in his knuckles is completely gone.  His knees?  Also gone.

8.  Billy is drinking around 3-4 cups of coffee a week as opposed to 2 cups a day.  The bags under his eyes are gone.

9. People noticed a difference in us.  So they decided to try it.  Which means we got paid for it.  Which means it nearly paid for itself.

10.  See number 9.

It's been a fantastic experience for us.  And come day 29, you better believe we will not be returning it.  Which begs the question, who's next???

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

So this one time...

We moved to Chicago.  Bought a house.  Moved to a different part of Chicago.  Then had a baby 2 weeks later.  Despite a couple rounds of bronchitis, a pulled back muscle and getting the entire house painted before he arrived, we survived and are absolutely in love.

Meet the newest fella of the family, sweet Parker Alexander.
 8 lbs. 4 oz., 20.5 inches of chubby goodness.  Those. Cheeks.  No but really.  They overlap his chin.  He is our shortest, yet chubbiest.  

 Squishy baby in a basket.  Swoon.  [My new neighbors likely think there is something mentally wrong with me after watching me photograph a naked 4 day old on my front porch.]

Giant feet and hands, as usual for Grimme children.

And the smitten big brothers.  Hugs and kisses.  All day long.  

Going into the c-section at a new hospital with a new doctor I was anxious, to say the least.  My first two deliveries, not so spectacular.  My c-section with Everett was far better than my delivery with Luke - but still not my favorite.  But this time... this time!  I could cry about it!  Maybe I did cry about it!  Though still a C-Section, it was the most pleasant, and dare I say enjoyable, experience for us.  From the moment we walked into Northwestern it was so peaceful and structured and mother-baby everything.  One of my biggest concerns was the anesthesia, as last time I went completely numb.  Head to toe.  Felt like I was unable to breath.  Couldn't speak.  Couldn't open and close my eyes.  And just kept vomiting on the table but not able to move, so well, that was lovely.  All after laboring for 10 hours.  But this time once we were in pre-op, every single person involved with the procedure came and introduced themselves, asked my concerns, then listened and heard my concerns, then told me what they were going to do about it.  Then they said it was time to go, so I literally walked next door and got on the operating table.  My doctor walked in, asked me what Pandora station I wanted to listen to, and then they got the party started.  Truly, the most wonderful group of people.  Had I been able to get up and walk right away I might have given them all hugs and kisses.  Don't worry.  I couldn't.  

The anesthesia started doing exactly what it did before, numbing my entire body.  But thanks to their willingness to hear me out, they were prepared and as soon as my blood pressure dropped (80/50) they quickly remedied the situation and we were smooth sailing.  When Parker was born, they weighed him, wrapped him, and handed him to Billy.  And from that moment he didn't leave our sight.  Granted, I was slightly confused.  Don't you bathe him?  Don't you take him away for all these tests?  Nope.  He's yours.  And everything we need to do can be done in your room.  So...for the remainder of the c-section we just hung out with Parker.  Billy just sat with me and Parker laid with me.  Then when we were done and on our way to recovery Billy carried Parker to recovery.  About an hour later we were in our room with Parker and it was so peaceful. and quiet.  and heavenly.  My pain stayed so low, by that afternoon I was able to walk, Parker was peeing and pooping and nursing, and 2 days later we were discharged early and headed home.

We could not be more thankful for how everything went from start to finish.

So, here's what I know to be true: God is good and faithful and gracious all the time.  In the midst of Luke and Everett's deliveries, as unpleasant and scary as they were, we knew He was still good and just.  We never felt forgotten or forsaken.  And during this delivery with Parker, as pleasant and beautiful as it was, we knew the same to be true.  He is still good and faithful.  And we were overwhelmed by His grace during this time and the many many ways He went before us and took care of so many details and fears of ours.

And on that note, I do believe I'll go finish my coffee!  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Things they are saying...

Lately, these two little boys of mine have said some of the most hilarious [and slightly inappropriate] things around the house... Including, but not limited to....

-"Mommy, where's my rape?" ... Excuse me?  "My rape-no.  So I can cook with you."  .....APRON.

-A certain child, in the bath tub, playing with his little hiney, so I ask...
 "Sweetie, why are you doing that with your bottom?" 
 Child says, " So it can fill up with water."  
I say, "Oh really?  Why do you need to fill it up with water?" 
Child says, "So I have plenty for the winter."  In. all. seriousness.  
I left the room and laughed til I cried.  Apparently he saw this on Animal Planet? 

-"Sometimes, half is called half.  And the other times its called half."

-"Thas ser-ous business." says one little boy regarding the food still left on his plate.

-"Mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy!  .... MAMACITA!!!!!"

"NO FAIR!"  There's nothing special to that.  Other than I hear it 239873593275 times a day.  And it drives. me. nuts.  

What's happenin'

Well it's still cold!  But today instead of snow it's rain, so that's an improvement.  Maybe.  Sometimes the moisture and dampness brought with rain is colder and chillier than a snow day.

I was telling a friend earlier this week that while there is much busyness on the horizon, right now there is not much busyness.  At all.  So sometimes the days tend to drag on with our only outing being to the grocery store or weekly library time.  We ventured out to the Kohl Children's Museum about 25 minutes from here.  It was similar to Marbles but a bit much.  Sensory overload to the max.  Luke and Everett would often walk into a new area without an idea of the theme and where to even begin.  After 2 hours Luke just stood still and said, "So I think we can probably go now..."  Not to mention this is one area we saw the cost of living a solid 65% higher than good ole Raleigh, NC which made for an expensive 2 hours.

We have a lot in the coming weeks and months, which will be nice.  Luke starts a "Jungle Safari" class next week at the community center where he will learn about a new African animal each week as well as play games, make a craft and more.  He is beyond thrilled.  Everett's library time starts next week also, which will be a nice change for him.  They do things on a monthly basis at our library so this month it was Luke and his 3-5 year old story time (parents and siblings not included).  Luke also starts soccer in 2 weeks!  We have some fun things going on this summer, including our baby brother making his debut in July.

It's also been a huge gift all around having Billy home every week.  When he traveled on a regular basis we were both really focused and he was so intentional on making sure the boys got their daddy time.  But now that he's home more, there's more freedom to enjoy time all together as well as for him to just take a breather every now and then and not worry about a to do list all. the. time.  Some nights after dinner the boys go down to the basement to play and Billy and I have uninterrupted conversation...CRAAAAZY.  I know.

While the days can be lonely for me at times, it's also been good time to do things I normally wouldn't do or haven't had time to do.  Like read a 450 page book in one week.  Two weeks in a row.  Or teach Luke to read (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons).  I've tried out several new recipes that have been on my list for at least a year.  It's also given me time to look into getting my counseling certification through ACBC, which happens to have a center within an hour of us (praise the Lord!).  So all in all things are good.  We are learning a lot.  Enjoying our "newlywed bliss" all over again.  Learning the territory and experiencing new cultures.  And so thankful for the unwavering peace we've been given from the Lord.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A week ago today...

It's officially been 1 week since our truck arrived at our new home and the unpacking began.  My mom and step dad arrived the next day and the serious unpacking, putting together, errand running began.  It was a blessing having them here to entertain the boys almost all day every day.  It gave us much needed uninterrupted time to try and get things a little more settled, and it made the first week a little less lonely!!  A few things we love about where we ended up... a park in the neighborhood.  Along with 2 ponds, a dog park and a library within walking distance.  Not to mention the world's best grocery store that is like a combination of the food and restaurant like atmosphere from Whole Foods, pharmacy and toiletries of Target, ease and simplicity of Harris Teeter, and the prices of Kroger.  Such a simple thing to be excited about, I do realize...but seeing as I spend a large portion of my time revolving around food and groceries and hungry boys, it's rather delightful.

The weather has strangely resembled the unpredictability of North Carolina, as it was 54 and sunny on Monday while today we woke up to 4 inches of snow.  Billy started his new job this week and our family left.  It has definitely been more quiet around here but we are getting into a new "normal."  Like staying in our pajamas until 10 am.... or 3 pm.... or until bedtime when I put a new pair on the sweet child who is still in his pajamas at bedtime....

A few things I've learned so far in this process and life in general here in Buffalo Grove:
-Everything takes longer.  As in at least an hour longer.  A quick run to the grocery store is not quick.  A quick trip to Ikea that is 25 minutes away ends up being a 4 hour trip.  Running into Target?  More like a stroll in the park.
-When you are browsing rentals in which you plan to reside, always look at light fixtures.  And washer/dryer connections.  We were a bit surprised to find that not a single room in this house has an overhead light fixture.  AFTER we arrived of course.  We were even more surprised to find that our electric dryer did not work in gas-run house.  And even MORE surprised to find out it would be close to a $1500 fix to either buy a GAS dryer equivalent or have the house wired to accommodate our electric dryer.
-If you think you will need 1 or 2 pairs of clothes per person during a move, add an extra 2.  Or 4.  Or wash every article of clothing before you leave.  Because the movers *might* drill a hole in your washing machine.  And all the Lowes within a 30 mile radius *might* be out of stock on the washer and dryers you want.  And it *might* take more than a week to get your new ones delivered and installed.  Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...........  (DO YALL KNOW HOW MUCH LAUNDRY THIS FAMILY PRODUCES IN 9 DAYS?!)
-Always ask...
In aforementioned scenario when your washing machine might get completely damaged, and the claims department of the moving company offers to replace the unit they damaged... it is worth asking them to replace the entire set.  After all doing laundry in 5 year apart machines that don't match would be a travesty.  You might be pleasantly surprised that they will indeed buy you an entire new set.
-Then when at Lowes and you are looking for your new [paid in full by said moving company] set to wash the ungodly amount of dirty clothes piling up in the house, and they are out of stock, why not ask them to match the price from the less expensive ones that aren't in stock on the $500 more expensive ones that ARE in stock.  You might again be pleasantly surprised that they will accommodate your request.  Even when those are too out of stock.  But hey, you just got a brand new washer and dryer for free, worth twice as much as your current machines, and completely eliminating the gas/electric dryer problem.  Thank you, Lord.

All in all it's been a pretty good week, though I cannot believe it's only been a week.  We are thankful for the area in which we live and our house, though dainty and little yard, is quite cozy and homey already.

And here are a few pictures just because.

This is how Billy does Ikea.  

Little Pajama man...

In real clothes!  On our beautiful sunny day.  We were sweating.  


Best. Library. Ever.

Little bookworm.

Did I mention this is the best library ever?

Case in point.

Going on two hours at a library.  Within walking distance from our house.  So excited about this!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

We moved: as told through my iPhone

I just told Billy that I at this moment while I am not sad, nor happy, angry or upset,  I am so mentally and physically exhausted that I could cry at any moment.  Full tears.  ugly cry.  for no reason.  And while that makes absolutely no sense, I am hormonal and pregnant and have been couped up with my kids in a mini van and a hotel room for 4 days.  4. long. days. YALL.  Ok only 3.  But still.  

So without brain dumping every overly emotional thought that comes to mind in this moment, because let's be honest, as my kids are asleep (in the back of my mini van, of course) this will be the only time that I actually have to process a full, complete and coherent thought or sentence, even if it is overly emotional, I will leave you with just pictures.  That may or may not have been a coherent [run on] sentence.  Oh and I will give captions, too.  

Here's what moving with the Grimme's has looked like....
Our atlas moving truck with the best team ever.  I laughed that they brought a truck this big.  Now I am crying that it was actually full and they are bringing every last piece into our new [1000sq ft smaller] residence. 

Um.  The worlds best going away gift.  Given by the worlds best friends.  Now I might be crying because I miss my girlfrands. 

Cute, right?  Morning of day 2's drive.  Our 8 hour drive took 12.  No big deal.  My kids and 75 lb Weimaraner loved all the togetherness almost as much as I did.  

Move in day we woke up to a fresh 4 inches of snow on top of the 37inches that were already there.  I wish I could say I stayed warm and cozy inside.  I tried.  But the doors being open for the movers all day gave me the option of sitting on the floor inside a 48 degree house or getting back in my mini van with my kids and dog.  I opted for the 48 degrees.  I might sell the van on Craigslist after this trip.  Sh.  Don't tell Billy.......

Did I mention they are sick?

And have been wearing the same pajamas longer than 24 hours?

Well.  That's it for now.  

*disclaimer: I am tired.  And love my kids.  And love that we feel led to this place.  I am not bitter.  I am blessed by the most amazing husband who brings me m&m's and diet coke and puts up with me.  And I'm also listening to a great album I haven't paid attention to in a while titled Live at The Banks House: Will Raegen.  Good for the soul, y'all.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Well, the cat's out of the bag...

1. I am pregnant.
2. It's a boy.
3. We are moving to Chicago.

Since most of you are probably most astounded by number 3, let's start there.

It's been a whirlwind and a very strange string of events.

We have family and friends in Chicago that we got to visit this summer.  During one of our drives I turned to Billy and said, "Wouldn't it be amazing to live here near Ray & Sarah, and be part of this incredible church plant [with people we know/getting to know from Raleigh]??"  To which he replies, "Yes.  But I don't have a JOB in Chicago and we just bought a HOUSE in Wake Forest."  Both valid points.

Fast forward 6 months, a random phone call for a work from home position based out of Chicago, a whirlwind of an interview, and a senior management job offer on the spot later - we found ourselves with a [slightly unwanted] job opportunity in Chicago.  The job they interviewed him for was not what they wanted to hire him for, thus asking Billy and our family to relocate to Chicago.


After much prayer, late late LATE talks through every scenario, and a last minute trip to Chicago (in the middle of vortex number 2), we felt like it was an obvious YES to move to Chicago.

Shew.  It is so so hard to leave.  Billy and I have both lived here for over 20 years.  Most of our parents are here.  We are leaving behind our beloved church family and our most precious friends, some we have known over 15 years.  But we also know that what lies ahead is a sweet sweet blessing for our family, an adventure and opportunity for our family to grow deeper with the Lord as we depend on Him in an unfamiliar place.  We are also moving into an unknown territory in Billy's career as he will now be home 99% of the time.  When we first got married and for the first 6 months of Luke's life he was literally gone every. single. week.  Him being home is huge for us, as we welcome baby #3.  While a blessing I am sure it will bring on a new set of challenges as we have never actually lived with one another longer than 14 days.  Ok maybe 20 :)

There are many ways in which the Lord has already gone before us and for that we are so so grateful.  Truly, the details of how this has all played out is quite incredible.  A few things we are most thankful for is our sister and brother in law + nieces will live relatively close, we were provided a personal reference OB for baby boy 3 from our current OB, and we already have a church we will be able to call family.  There is also a homeschool CO OP that I was wanting to participate in with Luke next year here in Raleigh....and there is one in the same suburb in which we are hoping to move.  So thankful!!

Here are a few answers to questions in which we have been asked recently....

Billy's new company will take care of our house to sell and buy out if needed.
They will move us.  And our cars.  And our dog.
His new start date is March 10.
We are moving before said start date.  Please note that is in exactly 1 month.  AHH!!!
We will probably take a trip to Chicago this weekend to find a 6 month rental until we better know the area.
WE ARE NUTS!  And it is only by God's grace that I do not end every day in a puddle of emotions on my kitchen floor eating chocolate cake and ice cream.
Thankfully I'm just sticking to the chocolate cake and ice cream portion of that last statement...